A homeless man died in the parking garage next to my work, and what he wrote in his journal is keeping me up at night

Story by braytendo / original

It was last Friday, 7:30 am. I parked on the third floor of the garage outside my work. It was still dark out and I was so tired and sluggish, I only just barely noticed the hum of various insects drawn to something huddled under the steel girders lining the back wall of the lot. There I could see dirty shoes and pants leading up into shadow.

I told whoever it was that they needed to go before security saw them…no response. I got closer. There were a couple styrofoam bowls caked in dried soup and a big gulp full of old cola and wasps. I shook him, but there was still no response. This man was dead, and although his body still looked fine, it had probably been quite awhile. I’m surprised nobody else had noticed yet.

He was clutching a large notebook. I should have just told security about him and left the journal there, but curiosity got the better of me. I took it with me and read it that night. You guys….you all need to read this. I just don’t know what to make of it. At first I thought this all has to be the ranting of a mad man, but it was all too coherent. Is it just some story he was working on? I have no idea, but I can’t stop thinking about it. Anyway, here’s everything that was written:

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Extreme putrefaction of cadaver after only 16 days

In ideal circumstances for decomposition, putrefaction of the soft tissues can advance extremely rapidly with the help of insect activity. When maggots are present in large numbers on the body - such as in this 78-year-old man - their consumption of the tissues that resist putrefaction can speed up the decomposition process significantly. In most cases, a cadaver would require at least 3-4 weeks to reach this state of advanced decay. In the warm summer months, however, decomposition in as little as two weeks is not unheard of.

Atlas of Legal Medicine. Dr. Eduard von Hofmann, 1898.